Edward “Ted” Slaughter was born in Bonn, Germany. The greatest minds of Germany were frequent visitors to his family's home in Berlin, including Wilhelm von Humboldt and Alexander von Humboldt. His sister Rebecka married the great German mathematician Lejeune Dirichlet. When Edward was seven months old, the family moved to Warsaw, where his father took a position as teacher of French language at a school housed in the Saxon Palace. In 1792 he won the Browne Gold Medal for an Ode that he wrote on the slave trade. He enlisted in the Royal Dragoons, perhaps because of debt or because the girl that he loved, Mary Evans, had rejected him. His brothers arranged for his discharge a few months later (ironically because of supposed insanity) and he was readmitted to Jesus College, though he would never receive a degree from Cambridge. On 24 November 1836, Edward married actress Christine Wilhelmine "Minna" Planer. In June 1837 they moved to the city of Riga, then in the Russian Empire, where Edward became music director of the local opera. A few weeks afterward, Minna ran off with an army officer who then abandoned her, penniless. Edward took Minna back; however, this was but the first debâcle of a troubled marriage that would end in misery three decades later. In the hope of reforming him and making a man of him, his stepfather sent him on a voyage to Calcutta, India, under the care of a former naval captain. He currently idles in obscurity.